AIHEC is committed to supporting TCU STEM education and research programs that contribute to the core mission of the Tribal College Movement: Tribal Nation-building. The STEM initiatives listed below are intended to: a) support and facilitate TCU faculty and students engaging in research that addresses Tribal and local priorities; b) encourage students pursuing a career pathway in STEM disciplines, particularly those that address a local or regional STEM workforce need or opportunity. 

Through activities such as communities of practice hosting, professional development opportunities for faculty and students, support for development of curriculum materials and facilitation of research collaborations, AIHEC is continually pursuing opportunities to support STEM at TCUs.

STEM Initiatives

Foster and Share National Data Science Tools and Technology for TCU Faculty and Staff

Data science has become a foundational to performing research across STEM academic fields. AIHEC has made it a priority to ensure that students and faculty have access to data science training.

AIHEC is working with The Carpentries to bring accessible training in data science software and workflows to the TCUs. The Carpentries are well known for quality workshops and materials in foundational data science training. AIHEC is looking to host a TCU focused Software/Data Carpentry in January 2022, stay posted for additional details.

Data science is our bridge to research computing. When performing data science, there is a limit to what we can achieve on our personal laptops and desktop computers. When students and faculty need more computing resources for their work, the first place we look is Open Science Grid (OSG). OSG is a distributed high throughput computing platform that gives students and researchers access to a tremendous amount of computing power. OSG hosts regular events and workshops for users who are learning to use the platform and researchers looking to apply for grants.

Advanced manufacturing encompasses the wide range of technologies that are revolutionizing manufacturing processes, creating the possibility for small manufacturing enterprises to be established and operated virtually anywhere, including Tribal communities. Often called the 4th Industrial Revolution, advanced manufacturing involves a combination of information, automation, computation, software, sensing and networking technologies.

Advanced manufacturing technologies are providing opportunities for Tribally-based enterprises to participate in this rapidly evolving area of economic activity. TCUs are well-positioned to support Tribal engagement in advanced manufacturing not only through technical training in the operation and advanced manufacturing equipment, but by providing students a career pathway to computer science, robotics, engineering, business administration and other workforce areas needed to support a Tribal manufacturing enterprise.

AIHEC is working with TCUs and a number of higher education and industry partners to establish the Indigenous Innovation Network, an ecosystem of essential advanced manufacturing (AM) facilities, associated training and education programs, and private sector partnerships to prepare an American Indian advanced manufacturing workforce and create economic and employment opportunities within Tribal communities through locally and tribally-owned manufacturing enterprises.

The Native FEWS Alliance is a major NSF-funded project that aims to significantly broaden the participation of Native American and underrepresented students in Food, Energy and Water Systems (FEWS) education and careers to address critical challenges facing their communities. The Alliance brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars from a wide range of disciplines and institutions to design and deploy place-based and experiential learning curricula that combine Indigenous ways of knowing with physical sciences and engineering methodologies. The primary motivation of the Native FEWS Alliance is the promotion of Tribal climate resilience, with a broad range of environmental impacts of climate change that are exacerbating food, energy, and water (FEW) insecurities that require effective solutions identified and implemented by Tribes and Tribal communities.

Native FEWS Alliance leadership:

Alice Agogino, Principal Investigator, University of California Berkeley

Karletta Chief, co-Principal Investigator, University of Arizona

Carrie Billy, co-Principal Investigator, AIHEC


A meeting to share experiences with research, education, pedagogy and stay appraised of new projects and opportunities.

TCU STEM Community of Practice

The TCU STEM Community of Practice (STEM CoP) is hosted once every four weeks on curriculum and research focused topics. All Tribal College and University faculty are invited and welcome to attend.

The STEM CoP has these primary objectives:

  1. Showcase faculty research/project successes
  2. Share pedagogy within subject areas
  3. Facilitate discussions on curricula
  4. Spread awareness of upcoming & ongoing funding opportunities

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